Fisheries and aquaculture provide nutritious food, rich in animal proteins and essential nutrients, for hundreds of millions of people around the world every day. They also employ over 10% of the world’s population, many of them women. The seafood industry is particularly important for food security and livelihoods in remote coastal areas of developing countries, particularly where social safety nets are not always available; while it also accounts for important shares of total exports in some countries of South East Asia.
However, overfishing, illegal fishing and the combined effects of ocean-based activities and climate change on resources and ecosystems put the sector at risk and undermine the resilience of those relying on it in many places. Improving fisheries and aquaculture management is crucial to ensure future generations continue to benefit from Ocean resources and ecosystem services.
The OECD Committee for Fisheries collects and publishes information on the situation of fisheries and aquaculture in OECD countries and partner economies as well as on the policy environment in each country to inform dialogue on progress towards internationally adopted goals and targets with respect to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management and support policies. Based on the identification of best policy practices, the Committee also aims to suggest reform pathways.
Governments provide support to their fisheries sectors through a wide range of policies. The objectives vary but tend to centre on goals such as maintaining employment, improving fishers’ welfare, or ensuring the sustainability of the sector and the resources it relies on. Usually, government finance services to the fisheries sector, which benefit the sector as a whole, or some of its segments - such as management, monitoring, control and surveillance; infrastructure; and research. They also provide direct support to individuals and companies - including through income support and policies reducing the price of inputs.
The OECD has developed a Fisheries Support Estimate (FSE) database to measure and describe fisheries support policies in a consistent and transparent way across all OECD member countries and key non-member economies with significant marine fisheries. The FSE, and associated modelling work, provide a basis for users to investigate the impacts of support on resources and ecosystems as well as on jobs, incomes and value creation with a view to adjust policies to better deliver the goals they were designed to meet.